Tangled Web: A weekly column featuring intriguing online music-related issues & destinations. This Week: The MASSIVE Database and the Internet Archive.
BACK TO SCHOOL ROCK: Part of the National Science Foundation's National Science Digital Library, "The MASSIVE Database" is a treasure trove of information about math- and science-related songs, including links to samples and in some cases full downloadable or streaming files.
The database includes thousands of entries, from "3.14159/pi" and "5 Reasons to Love a Dinosaur" to "Protozoa," "Why Does a Bee Buzz," "The Waltz of the Ribosomes" and "Send Them Back Home to Brazil! (Fire Ant Song)." It's searchable by title, performer, writer or keyword.
The project, maintained by University of Washington lecturer Greg Crowther, is an attempt to index all math and science-related songs for which online recordings exist. It's presented as a free tool for teachers, parents or children, or just aficionados of educational music.
And its companion site MASSIVE radio is, of course, an Internet radio station (run by Live365) that continually broadcasts jewels from the database.
NET LABELS GALORE: The Internet Archive, already praised in these pages for its always-growing Live Music Archive, also has a database dedicated to the various Web-based record labels, another fast-growing segment of the online music community.
The Netlabels collection compiles the fruits of these companies and presents them to the public.
The labels are non-profit organizations whose catalogs are free to download or stream. Genres tend to revolve around electronic and indie-rock sounds but are diverse in their offerings.
A Netlabels forum also allows listeners to compare notes on some of the presented music, helping newbies decide where to start.